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USB and Toslink


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I have been using USB for a long time on my Mytek and CAPS. Today got an itch to try the SPDIF of my Gigabyte motherboard. Boy was I surprised!

 

Its hard to admit but I like the using the Toslink more. The sound is more fuller, more organic and the digital artifacts seems to be gone.

 

Am I hearing it right?

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http://www.head-fi.org/t/702787/chord-hugo/8805#post_11050678

 

I don't know if there are subtle gain differences at the same volume setting between optical and USB affecting my assessment.

 

I don't know if I just have an insane amount of interference with my LAN network having impact on my USB.

 

I don't know if the technology in optical has made a sneaky and significant advancement.

 

But I prefer my MbP TOS out with SN7 to Hugo, over my: Synergistic Research/Nordost Heimdall2/Cardas Clear USB to AP2 + PP to Hugo. It sounds more dynamic, clean, open, and lively - with less distortion.

 

I don't know if it's this optical cable specifically. I don't know how it compares to the Sysconcept. But the SN7 is better than the other 3 I have (AQ Cinnamon, Monster, Chord stock). And it's built so extremely well.

RFI / EMI from your CAPS wouldn't be any good without isolation of some sort for those USB ports.

 

The optical cable itself took care of the isolation part and that's why it's doing even better than USB.

 

Some of us here in Hong Kong purchased that optical USB cable Adnaco-SU1 and we're all getting great results thanks to the isolation of RFI / EMI. Clemmaster also shared similar experiences as follows

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/650256/jkenny-audio-ci-nas-dac-and-ci-nas-spdif/585

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Chord Hugo - Page 588

 

 

RFI / EMI from your CAPS wouldn't be any good without isolation of some sort for those USB ports.

 

The optical cable itself took care of the isolation part and that's why it's doing even better than USB.

 

Some of us here in Hong Kong purchased that optical USB cable Adnaco-SU1 and we're all getting great results thanks to the isolation of RFI / EMI. Clemmaster also shared similar experiences as follows

 

JKenny Audio Ciúnas DAC and Ciúnas SPDIF - Page 40

 

 

WOW Thanks for the input. Are you talking about this?

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CC8NNPC

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Just taking a step back in everyone's recommendations...

 

Do you use just the normal USB output off the motherboard; or have you got something like the SotM USB card?

Its hard to admit but I like the using the Toslink more. The sound is more fuller, more organic and the digital artifacts seems to be gone.

As people have commented: optical, while the spec's usually suggests a higher level of bitter; has the advantage of electrical isolation. Depending on the components within your computer this may be of greater or lesser value.

 

While many people will say "USB good; TOSLink bad" that is really a big over simplification as so much varies with different computers and different DACs giving you almost infinite combinations you can compare.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Just taking a step back in everyone's recommendations...

 

Do you use just the normal USB output off the motherboard; or have you got something like the SotM USB card?

As people have commented: optical, while the spec's usually suggests a higher level of bitter; has the advantage of electrical isolation. Depending on the components within your computer this may be of greater or lesser value.

 

While many people will say "USB good; TOSLink bad" that is really a big over simplification as so much varies with different computers and different DACs giving you almost infinite combinations you can compare.

 

Eloise

 

Im using a Paul Pang USB v2 and iFI Gemini cable.

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I have been using USB for a long time on my Mytek and CAPS. Today got an itch to try the SPDIF of my Gigabyte motherboard. Boy was I surprised!

 

Its hard to admit but I like the using the Toslink more. The sound is more fuller, more organic and the digital artifacts seems to be gone.

 

Am I hearing it right?

 

Probably. I use Toslink. I have an expensive USB cable sat around doing nothing these days. I have used my ears, not science, to judge. But I would qualify that this is what I hear in my system only. I can't comment on others.

 

But I guess the galvanic isolation is an aspect. The criticism of the Toslink Tx/Rx being very jittery is perhaps a tad overblown, given that jitter correction/rejection is now built into some DAC's.

 

I would expect also that there will be cases where USB sounds better than S/PDIF, simply because there are typically different circuit topologies employed within a DAC to manage each.

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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Probably. I use Toslink. I have an expensive USB cable sat around doing nothing these days. I have used my ears, not science, to judge. But I would qualify that this is what I hear in my system only. I can't comment on others.

 

But I guess the galvanic isolation is an aspect. The criticism of the Toslink Tx/Rx being very jittery is perhaps a tad overblown, given that jitter correction/rejection is now built into some DAC's.

 

I would expect also that there will be cases where USB sounds better than S/PDIF, simply because there are typically different circuit topologies employed within a DAC to manage each.

 

Here are my comments for this, but for my specific DAC and setup again. I have also found, that Toslink sound much better than USB in that case: Caiman II USB vs. Spdif I would like to add also, that Toslink was invented specifically for audio in the past, where nobody thought about USB yet for this reason.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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Oh, and one thing to mention. Today’s S/PDIF hardware is most probably incomparably better then it was 20 years ago. Today’s Cirrus receivers’ performance for instance is 50ps or even better of intrinsic jitter and they lock on preamble, thus being relatively free from data induced jitter! There are other manufacturers claiming similar performance.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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I wonder how many hifi enthusiasts use Toslink as a data transfer medium between transport and DAC - I would guess 1 in 20, if that?

 

Do people just write it off, because they were told 'stay away, it's jittery' by someone, or do most people genuinely prefer the sound using USB interface? I appreciate that this is going to differ from DAC to DAC, but I'd be interested to know how many people have actually made the comparison.

Front End: Neet Airstream

Digital Processing: Chord Hugo M-Scaler

DAC: Chord Dave

Amplification: Cyrus Mono x300 Signatures

Speakers: Kudos Titan T88

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